NEWSLETTER (41:17) – Owl day, RPS review, Intro to ABCD, summer play days

Victoria Park Wildlife Group is hosting an Owl Day to celebrate the tawny owls which are in the park.
Special guests from Secret World are bringing live birds of prey along for you to meet. The group will be hosting some fun owl-themed arts and crafts activities for children, and advice on what you can do to help bird conservation. It will be on the slope below the children’s play area adjoining Nutgrove Avenue. There will be a small charge to cover costs of materials for some activities, e.g. badge making, etc.

91 Ways
This is a Bristol-wide organisation that celebrates the estimated 91 languages spoken in the city by sharing meals and recipes from across the planet.   However, we are not aware of any activity within BS3, which, if true, is a pity.

RPS hours/days of operation – what do you think?
If you live in the Southville or Bedminster East RPS zone, you will have received (or be about to receive) a letter about RPS days and hours of operation – and whether the days should be extended to Saturday and/or Sunday Also, should the hours be extended from 5pm to 7pm or 9pm. (And for that matter, would you have different weekend hours, were you to extend the days).  The format of the survey isn’t terribly helpful, so Charlie Bolton/Steve Clarke have set up another (extremely simple) version.

Charlie Bolton says ‘I’d say personally, I’d extend hours to 9pm M-F, extend to Saturday 9-5pm and maybe 9-5pm for Sunday. But I have no particular rationale for saying that.’ Anyway, please let them know what you think.

Understanding Society – new part-time short course
The University of Bristol is starting a new short course in the autumn.
The course website is available here: tudy/part-time/
At the moment, the course is scheduled to run on Wednesday evenings, 6-9pm, starting on 15 October.

This course is for anyone interested in making sense of the society that we live in and how social and public policies can make a difference to people’s lives. It’s an interactive course, covering a wide range of topics, from social inequalities, to the general election; September 11th to the justice system; protests, the environment, and what it really means to be part of society. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (41:17) – Owl day, RPS review, Intro to ABCD, summer play days”

NEWSLETTER (38:17) on Walkability

Let’s Walk Bedminster
Readers will know that making BS3 a more walkable area has been an important community project for several years.   Lots of local people, shopkeepers and others have been involved in accentuating the positive aspects of walking (beautiful front and community gardens, art work from both urban painters and local children, improved signage, toilet maps, benches etc) and eliminating the negative (pavements cluttered with bins and parked cars, inconsiderate and speeding motorists and cyclists, dogs’ droppings etc).

We have been working with other neighbourhoods that also want to improve walkability and GBCP was a founding member of the Bristol Walking Alliance.

Walking is an Equalities Issue
Walking isn’t just a mode of transport with added benefits of enhancing health whilst making little or no contribution to either climate change or poisonous air, it’s also an equalities issue.   We know that frailer older people, people with disabilities of sight and mobility, buggy pushers and young children are all, at least, inconvenienced and sometimes endangered by broken and blocked footways that force them into the road or discourage them from leaving their house to visit friends, shops and other destinations.     It’s not right that some people can move freely and safely around their community and others cannot.

Talking the Talk, but not yet Walking the Walk
Through the Bristol Walking Alliance, GBCP has been working with various agencies.    Discussions have included Sue Mountstevens, the Crime Commissioner for Avon and Somerset and Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.    We have been in touch with all four Bristol MPs both before and after the election.     We have identified a ‘Walkability Champion’ as our link city councillor in each of the four political groups on the City Council.    We have good links with researchers in the two universities and with Bristol Health Partners.    BWA hopes to talk to the new Metro-Mayor before the end of 2017.   Through Streets Alive we are plugged into the wider national scene.

All the discussions have shown that the problems of walkability are understood and there is a general desire to improve the situation, but the discussion usually also includes references to difficulties such as the vagueness of the law, costs to the public purse and the probable opposition of powerful groups.

iWalk – Innovations in Inclusive Walking Report.  
One of the people that the Bristol Walking Alliance has been been working with is Jess Read.    Jess was seconded into BCC’s Transport Team about a year ago, specifically to look at up-dating the council’s Walking Strategy.    The first step was probably to dust it off!!    Jess has come up with some ideas about how to make walking a first and more frequent choice for more people in the city.    Some of these are gathered in the attached document.   There are more to come. Continue reading “NEWSLETTER (38:17) on Walkability”